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Thousands more homes in Cambridgeshire is set to enjoy super-fast broadband this Christmas.
The partnership led by Cambridgeshire County Council is celebrating making high-speed fibre available to more than 50,000 homes and businesses across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, since it was launched a year ago.
With tablets and smartphones top of many people’s wish lists this Christmas, it means many more busy households can use faster Internet access for shopping, entertainment and essential services – all at the same time.
Online sales are expected to surge by 13% this festive season with a quarter of customers doing their shopping for gifts and food online; 41% using smartphones and 35% using tablets, according to Mintel.
The announcement takes the programme more than half-way towards its target of giving more than 90,000 households and businesses the chance to upgrade to fibre broadband by the end of 2015.
Plans are currently being drawn-up to reach even more premises with better broadband using extra Government funding to extend the programme.
Engineers from BT’s local network business, Openreach, have already installed 250 new fibre broadband cabinets and laid over 350 kilometres of fibre cable to extend the existing network in this complex engineering project, which has involved crossing major roads such as the A14, overcoming power issues and bad weather.
Cambridgeshire County Councillor Ian Bates, Chairman of the Economy and Environment Committee, responsible for Connecting Cambridgeshire, said:
"It’s been a superfast year for Connecting Cambridgeshire and it’s the perfect Christmas present to know that we are on track to bring high speed fibre broadband to thousands of homes and businesses that would not get the chance otherwise.
Decent broadband is fast becoming an essential for many people and we are seeing above average take-up in areas where faster broadband has arrived. We know it is frustrating having to wait, but rest assured, by the end of 2015, Cambridgeshire will be one of the best connected counties in the country."
Connecting Cambridgeshire is working with BT and the Government body Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) to roll-out the new